Three Steps to the Universe

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-09-15
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
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If scientists can't touch the Sun, how do they know what it's made of? And if we can't see black holes, how can we be confident they exist? Gravitational physicist David Garfinkle and his brother, science fiction writer Richard Garfinkle, tackle these questions and more inThree Steps to the Universe,a tour through some of the most complex phenomena in the cosmos and an accessible exploration of how scientists acquire knowledge about the universe through observation, indirect detection, and theory. From the Sun and black holes, the authors lead us further into the unknown, to the dark matter and energy that pervade our universe, where science teeters on the edge of theory and discovery. Returning from the depths of space, the final section of the book brings readers back down to Earth for a final look at the practice of science, ending with a practical guide to discerning real science from pseudoscience among the cacophony of print and online scientific sources. Three Steps to the Universewill reward anyone interested in learning more about the universe around us and shows how scientists uncover its mysteries. "This book is not only an excellent introduction to the Sun, black holes, and dark matter, but also a very good book about the scientific process."Choice "A fluid, crystalline presentation of how scientists think. . . . The Garfinkles systematically instill how confident lay readers can be in what they read in the popular-science format."Booklist

Author Biography

David Garfinkle is professor in the Department of Physics at Oakland University. Richard Garfinkle is the author of two books of science fiction, Celestial Matters and All of an Instant.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
The Sun
Look. Don't Touch.p. 17
What's That Bright Thing Made Of?p. 33
Fusion: Energy Hidden in Plain Sightp. 45
Black Holes
Old Gravity and New Gravityp. 67
Black Holes in Relativityp. 85
The Lives of Starsp. 95
Black Hole Huntingp. 123
Gravitational Wavesp. 147
Dark Matter-Dark Energy
Galactic Scalep. 159
What is Dark Matter?p. 167
All the Way Outp. 195
Dark Energy, Antigravity, and Einstein's Fudgep. 205
A Step Back to Earth
Road Mapsp. 217
Science as it is Writtenp. 245
Glossaryp. 261
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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